By Yoruk Bahceli
LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Longer-dated euro zone government bond yields ticked higher on Monday ahead of a big policy meeting this week at the ECB, which is expected to cut rates and announce other stimulus measures to support the region's sluggish economy.
Most long-dated government bond yields were up 3 to 4 basis points in early trade DE30YT=RR, FR30YT=RR, NL30YT=RR, IT50YT=RR.
Germany's 30-year government bond was up 4 bps to -0.07%, edging closer to positive territory. The 10-year benchmark DE10YT=RR was up 2 bps to -0.61%.
Data showed German exports unexpectedly rose in July, suggesting the euro zone's biggest economy may be withstanding some of the impact of tariff disputes and Brexit uncertainty.
Exports increased by 0.7% month-on-month, while economists in a Reuters poll had forecast a 0.5% decline. German imports declined much more than expected, however.
Still, the focus remains on the European Central Bank and how much, and what kind of, stimulus it announces on Thursday.
"With the European Central Bank on tableau for this week I don't expect any significant market movements ahead of the meeting," said Rene Albrecht, rates strategist at DZ Bank.
Euro zone government bond yields made big gains last week as investors lowered their expectations for aggressive easing from the ECB after hawkish comments by the bank's officials. That steepened bond yield curves.
The risk-on sentiment was further supported by a perceived fall in the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October and news that the United States and China would resume trade talks, which curbed demand for safe-haven assets.
U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's speech in Switzerland on Friday afternoon also firmed up expectations for a 25 bps rate cut by the Fed.
British gross domestic product estimates and output data for July are all due later in the morning.
Rising gilt yields were another driver of the euro zone government bond sell-off last week.
However, DZ Bank's Albrecht said that at this stage, political headlines around Brexit are more likely to drive the market than data about the past few months.
(Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
((Yoruk.Bahceli@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7571; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))
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